Frightened Tongans fled to greater floor Saturday after a large volcanic eruption — heard in neighbouring nations — triggered the realm’s second tsunami in as many days.
“A 1.2 metre tsunami wave has been observed at Nukualofa,” Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology tweeted. The most tsunami wave recorded following Friday’s explosion was 30 centimetres.
The newest eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano got here just some hours after Friday’s tsunami warning was lifted.
The volcanic eruption in Tonga captured by #Himawari satellite tv for pc..
— Raj Bhagat P #Mapper4Life (@rajbhagatt) January 15, 2022
Mere Taufa mentioned she was in her home preparing for dinner when the volcano erupted.
“It was massive, the ground shook, our house was shaking. It came in waves. My younger brother thought bombs were exploding nearby,” Taufa advised the Stuff information web site.
She mentioned water crammed their dwelling minutes later and she or he noticed the wall of a neighbouring home collapse.
“We just knew straight away it was a tsunami. Just water gushing into our home.
“You might simply hear screams all over the place, folks screaming for security, for everybody to get to greater floor.”
Tonga’s King Tupou VI was reported to have been evacuated from the Royal Palace in Nuku’alofa and taken by a police convoy to a villa well away from the coastline.
The initial eruption lasted at least eight minutes and sent plumes of gas, ash and smoke several kilometres into the air. Residents in coastal areas were urged to head for higher ground.
The eruption was so intense it was heard as “loud thunder sounds” in Fiji more than 800 kilometres (500 miles) away, officials in Suva said.
There, officials warned residents to cover water collection tanks in case of acidic ash fall.
Victorina Kioa of the Tonga Public Service Commission said Friday that people should “avoid areas of warning that are low-lying coastal areas, reefs and seashores”.
The head of Tonga Geological Services Taaniela Kula urged people to stay indoors, wear a mask if they were outside and cover rainwater reservoirs and rainwater harvesting systems.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a “tsunami advisory” for American Samoa, saying there was a threat of “sea stage fluctuations and robust ocean currents that might be a hazard alongside seashores”.
Similar warnings were issued by authorities in New Zealand and Fiji.
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano sits on an uninhabited island about 65 kilometres (40 miles) north of the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)